How can you guarantee that the emails you send to your subscribers land in their inboxes and not in the spam folder? It can be done by following the best email authentication protocols.

Suppose an email says it’s from a specific organization. How can you be sure it’s from that business? That’s where email authentication protocols play a crucial role.

It proves that the sender manages the domain used in the From address. By implementing the best email authentication protocols, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) help protect your users from spammers.

These frauds involve sending emails on behalf of someone with their consent to mislead the receivers into giving out personal data (e.g., passwords, bank account, and credit card numbers) to steal money or spread the malicious software.

What are Email Authentication Protocols?

In general, we use the term “email authentication” to relate to technical patterns that make this confirmation possible. Some most common email authentication protocols are SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.

These email authentication protocols are meant to improve SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), the primary protocol used to send an email because SMTP does not include any authentication mechanisms.

How Does Email Authentication Work?

The email authentication process uses different approaches, each with its own pros and cons. However, the precise technical implementation varies from procedure to procedure; in general, it works something like:

  1. A business that sends email sets a policy that defines the rules by which email from its domain name can be verified.
  2. The email sender design its mail servers and another technical base to perform and publish these rules.
  3. A mail serverthat receives email confirms the messages it gets by checking details about an incoming email message against the domain owner’s rules.
  4. The receiving mail server acts upon the results of this authentication to deliver, report, or even reject the mail.

Types of Email Authentication Protocols

The fundamental objective of email authentication is to provide enough valid information so that recipients can determine the legality of the sender’s identification. The approach is very diverse from content filtering, where one man’s spam may be another anxiously expected message.

Wondering how to authenticate emails? Well, here are some of the best email authentication protocols that you must consider:

1. SPF

SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework, which is a method that recognizes the email identity. When you send an email, your subscribers’ mail server will assess your IP addresses in the public Domain Name System (DNS) to be sure it is authorized to send emails on account of the sender.


With Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM), two keys are created – public and private. Every time an email is sent to a user, a private key is involved in the message headers. When ISPs get the email message in their servers, they can review the public and individual titles. In simple words, DKIM implements an encryption key and digital sign that proves that an email message was not forged. In a nutshell, it eliminates email phishing.


DMARC stands for Domain Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance. Email authentication and reporting protocol are meant to recognize spam and phishing messages and keep them away from user’s inboxes. It develops on the DKIM and SPF protocols, attaching linkage to the From domain, published plans for how users handle authentication crashes, as well as reporting from receivers to senders. DMARC protects email senders and receivers by helping them make the process simpler and work together to avoid misuse by spammers.

Benefits of Email Authentication Protocols

With email authentication protocols, spammers can be easily filtered out by the ISPs who try to represent businesses in performing bad needs.

From a consumer’s perspective

  • They reduce spam: As per the report stated by Statista, approx. 50% of emails land in the spam folder of the user. However, spammers try to be very productive. They usually are good at making their emails look – at first glance, at least – like the real, relevant content that people have signed up for.
  • Avoid phishing: Email authentication gives customers a more secure experience and protects brands from the reputational loss of being affiliated with a phishing scam.

From a brand’s perspective

  • Increase trust among users: Email is the connection between consumers and organizations. Proving that your emails are genuine and safe not only enhances overall deliverability but also makes it obvious that you are taking precautions to keep relevant data safe and are therefore nearly reliable.
  • Improve deliverability: If you want to increase your email deliverability rates, email authentication protocols are the way-to-go.

Summing Up

Maintaining your authentication affects how your business’s emails are presented to different email clients. Suppose you haven’t authorized an email service provider (ESP) to send on behalf of your company. In that case, most of your subscribers will list your mail as spam in the From line as coming from a distinctive server, which can cause the emails to be blocked or your recipients to think they’re getting spam.

Email authentication also protects the brand’s reputation from spammers. It also improves the chance your users will see the mail you sent from your app. That’s a win-win situation for you and your subscribers.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.